Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr paul manafort...
Disney | ABC Television Group / Flickr

Paul Manafort is having the week from hell. Not only did news of the FBI raid on his home hit media outlets all over the world, Manafort is on the front page of The National Enquirer, who alleges that Manafort had an extramarital affair with a woman half his age. Last but most assuredly not least, Donald Trump is giving Manafort the cold shoulder — and that’s putting it mildly. “I know Mr. Manafort. Haven’t spoken to him in a long time, but I know him, ” says the titular leader of the free world. Unfortunately for Donald Trump, there is lots of evidence of long standing relations between Team Trump and Manafort.  The Daily Beast:

The terms “shady” and “sketchy” come up most frequently when senior veterans of Trump’s campaign discuss the earlier work done by Manafort, the campaign’s former chairman. (This is the kind of work that has in decades past included Manafort’s lobbying for some of the worst human rights abusers, killers, and dictators of the Cold War era—work Manafort did with longtime Trump consigliere Roger Stone at their well-connected K Street lobbying firm Black, Manafort, Stone, and Kelly.) What they don’t know is whether Mueller has “turned” Manafort or simply obtained information during his investigation that has led to pertinent election-meddling developments, and what—if anything—Manafort would have to offer or interest Mueller and his team.

During the presidential run, Manafort was seen by Trump and his closest aides as a “creature of convenience,” a Trump campaign veteran told The Daily Beast, who was brought in to take the reins following ousted campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s disastrous tenure and whose experience fit with what was then a likely scenario of a contested Republican nominating convention. “There is no trust between the president and Paul [Manafort],” another West Wing official said. “There never really was any to begin with, to tell you the truth.”

Multiple sources close to the president have said that there was a growing resentment from Team Trump toward Manafort because he tried to profit off of the access and influence that he claimed to still have on the Trump administration. Specifically, top Trump officials were especially annoyed when stories began appearing online starting in April about how Manafort had reportedly told Chinese interests that he could convince the Trump administration to go along with deals related to U.S. construction contracts. “That really pissed people off,” a White House adviser told The Daily Beast.

Interesting that Paul Manafort was talking to the Chinese about construction. Coincidentally, Anthony Scaramucci was involved in selling interest in SkyBridge, a company he owned, to the Chinese. And Jared Kushner and his sister were speaking with Chinese investors as well regarding their real estate interests and talking about securing visas for them.
Roger Stone steadfastly maintains that Manafort is “100% loyal” to the president. ““The president doesn’t do things that aren’t logical and have no motive,” said Stone, the subject of recent Netflix documentary in which he proudly recounts his shady exertions on behalf of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Trump. “So the motive would be—what? The stories from a month and a half ago that Manafort had, like, flipped, and would testify against Trump, are completely false…Manafort had nothing to do with the Russians and he’s not going to come forward and say that he did and that Trump knew about it—because it never happened.”
Manafort had “nothing to do with the Russians” but he did get paid $12.5 million dollars by them, a very nice chunk of change for having nothing to do with someone. As for Donald Trump barely knowing Manafort, they’ve known each other for thirty years and Manafort has an apartment in Trump Tower. Robert Mueller has a lot of work to do, that much is quite apparent.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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